| # nov/05|
Part III, other methods
1. asphyxiation (dangle on end of rope for 10 minutes)
Time: 5 to 10 minutes
Available: Rope, solid support 10 foot above ground
Certainty: Fairly certain (discovery, rope/support snapping)
Notes: Brain damage likely if rescued. Very painful depending on rope. Most common effective form of suicide in UK. See "Asphyxiation".
2. breaking neck
Time: Should be instant if it does break. See previous if not
Available: Rope, solid support, 10 foot space below, several above
Certainty: Very certain if the rope/support doesn't break
Notes: Minimal danger of discovery (depends on location). Painless if you drop far enough (8 foot is optimum). Make sure that the rope is tied securely to something STRONG!! It has to support your weight MULTIPLIED by the deccelleration. Use a hangman's knot (with the knot at the back of your neck). It doesn't always work this well though, you might get a bust jaw / lacerations etc and then asphyxiate.
Calle: I got this table of appropriate falling heights from a.s.h. long-time regular MegaZone (firstname.lastname@example.org), who got it from a friend of his named Mark.
Hanging Drop Heights...
Culprits Weight Drop
14 stone (196 lbs) 8ft 0in
13.5 stone (189 lbs) 8ft 2in
13 stone (182 lbs) 8ft 4in
12.5 stone (175 lbs) 8ft 6in
12 stone (168 lbs) 8ft 8in
11.5 stone (161 lbs) 8ft 10in
11 stone (154 lbs) 9ft 0in
10.5 stone (147 lbs) 9ft 2in
10 stone (140 lbs) 9ft 4in
9.5 stone (133 lbs) 9ft 6in
9 stone (126 lbs) 9ft 8in
8.5 stone (119 lbs) 9ft 10in
8 stone (112 lbs) 10ft 0in
Source: Charles Duff, Handbook of Hanging (Boston: Hale, Cushman & Flint 1929)
Notes: This is for person of average build with no unusual physical problems. The Author (James "Hangman" Barry) noted that when executing "persons who had attempted suicide by cutting their throats...to prevent reoping the wounds I have reduced the drop by nearly half."
Jumping off buildings
Time: Instantanious if you are lucky, minutes/hours otherwise
Available: You need ten stories or higher, and access to the top floor windows/roof. Bring a bolt cutter to get onto the roof
Certainty: 90% for 6 stories, increasing after that
Notes: Difficult to overcome fear of heights, many people can't do it. Totally painless if high enough, but very frightening. Easily discovered if seen on/near roof/windows. Access fairly easy in a city, otherwise difficult. Risk of spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair. Ever tried killing yourself if you are paralysed from the neck down? Email conversations suggest 10+ stories works ALMOST all of the time. Try to land on concrete. Quote - "9 out of 10 people who fall 6 stories will die". Note that it may take a while for many of those 90% to die.
Slitting wrists or other (often not effective)
Time: Minutes if major artery cut, eternity otherwise.
Available: You really need a razor sharp knife. Razors are pretty tricky to hold when they are covered with blood.
Certainty: possible if you cut an artery, improbable otherwise
Notes: Painful at first. Danger of discovery. This is a very common suicide 'gesture' and hardly ever results in anything other than a scar. A lot of will power required to cut deeply into groin or carotid arteries, which are the only ones likely to kill you. Don't bother with this method. Cutting your throat is difficult due to the fact that the carotid arteries are protected by your windpipe (feel where your arteries are with your fingertips, & slice from the side). I've seen photos of people who have used this method - the depth of the cut required is amazing. If you want to cut your wrists, cut along the blue line (vein) on the underside of your wrist, but cut deeply so that the artery underneath is exposed. Cut this lengthways with a razor or similar. The traditional hot bath does help, since it keeps the blood flowing quickly, slows down clotting, and is nice to lie back and relax in. Position yourself so that your wrists don't fall inwards against your body, blocking off blood flow.
Calle: A posting to A.S.H. suggests using the kind of equipment they use when you give blood to a blood bank, i.e., a needle in a blood vessel and a piece of tubing. It sounds like it would remove several of the disadvantages of the ordinary slitting-wrists method.
Time: Microseconds unless you are unlucky (mins/hours)
Available: Difficult in UK, easier in USA (get a shotgun)
Notes: Painless if worked, otherwise painful & brain damage. Danger of discovery of weapon or ammunition. Not at all common in UK, more common in USA where guns available. Brain damage & other effects if you survive. Death either instantaneous, or prolonged. Lots of will power needed to fire gun ('hesitation marks' are bullets/pellets embedded in the wall, when you jerk the gun as you fire). Bullet can miss vital parts in skull, deflect off skull. If you have a choice, use a shotgun rather than a rifle of a pistol, since it is so much more effective. ("shotgun" entry later). Ammunition to use is: .458 Winchester Magnum, or soft-point slugs with .44 Magnum. Also you could use a sabot round, which is a plastic wedge with a smaller thing in it. These rounds are rather overkill, the phrase "elephant gun" has been used about the .458 Winchester, but if you're going to go, do it with a bang. Note, people usually survive single .22 shots to the temples. The other problem with guns is that is is bloody messy. Your next of kin will really _enjoy_ cleaning up after you, washing the coagulated blood & brains out of corners etc...
Time: 5 mins to unconciousness, 10+ mins to brain death
Available: Anywhere there's a rope and something solid to tie it to
Certainty: Certain, if you don't get "rescued"
Notes: Panic reaction is very likely (unless inert gasses used). One of the most effective and most used methods of suicide. Probable brain damage if you are "rescued". NOTE, this can only really be done in two ways: firstly, when you are unconsious (eg, sleeping pills), or secondly, by hanging. Combining with pure inert gasses is a very good suggestion. See "Nitrogen" in the poisons section
Air in veins (basically just a myth)
Time: Couple of minutes claimed
Available: Plenty of air about... Need a hypodermic & syringe
Certainty: only 1 known case.. patient may already have been dead
Notes: The only case I know about, it killed with 40cc of air. Smaller amounts are harmless. The case was the death of Abbie Borroto, who died in 1950 from a 40cc injection in New Hampshire. She died in minutes. This was the 1949 Dr H Sander case. He was found not guilty to murder on the grounds that the patient may already have been dead when he gave the injection. (A doctor and a nurse could find no pulse earlier the same day). The following 2 quotes are from : Prof. Y Kenis says: "... not a suitable method, nor a gentle death... extremely difficult to utilize as a method of suicide. .. possibly with very serious consequences, such as paralysis or permanent brain damage. .. this is only an impression, and I have no real scientific information on the subject." Dr Pieter V Admiraal .. describes the theoretical air bubble method of suicide as impossible, disagreeable and cruel. "To kill somebody with air you would have to inject at least 100 -> 200 millilitres as quickly as possible in a vein as big as possible close to the heart. You would have to fill the whole heart with air at once. The heart would probably beat on for several minutes, perhaps 5 -> 15 minutes, and during the first minutes the person may be conscious."
Time: Couple of seconds before conciousness fades
Available: Happen to have a train line nearby? Or a guillotine perhaps?
Certainty: Very certain, unless you pull away just before
Notes: See "jumping in front of trains". May be difficult to stop pulling your head out of the way - OD on sleeping tablets first
Calle: A news notice from California posted to alt.suicide.holiday tells the story of a man who comitted suicide nearly cut his own head off with a chainsaw. Sounds like a grisly way to do it.
Disembowelment (aka seppuku/hara kiri)
Available: Got a nice razor-sharp sword?
Certainty: Fairly certain, assuming that you managed to gut yourself properly before passing out with the agony
Notes: Painful, even the macho Samurai used a 'second' to decapitate them at the appropriate point, so don't expect to do much more than give yourself peritonitis. Trendy for insane martial arts fanatics and gay Japanese poets called Mishima.
Time: Minutes (5 mins to die of drowning, 20 to die of hypothermia)
Available: Anywhere there's deep, (cold) water in a remote spot
Certainty: Good, just make sure you sink & can't swim
Notes: Put stones in your pockets, tie your legs & hands together, and hop into the lake.. bit of a shock to the fisherman who finds your rotting corpse stuck in his brand new net. Also see entry for "hypothermia/freezing". However, remember that you can be revived from cold water drowning after several hours, because the cold slows down terminal brain damage. Warmer water doesn't have the advantage of hypothermia, but is more effective in making sure you *stay* dead.
Time: Seconds / minutes
Available: Anywhere with high-tension, high-current lines & a good earth
Certainty: Somewhat dependant on luck & how much power goes through you
Notes: Don't bother with 110 or 240 volt mains, its just not enough. Some people do get killed with household electricity, but only after several minutes. Use high tension lines, stand in bare feet on waterlogged ground (better still, put a piece of THICK copper cable into the nearest river). Works best if current path travels through your head, or through the heart. Just burns you badly otherwise. NOT